Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A second-best season, a statistic, and a surgery

Monday: Cubs 2, Brewers 0

Derrek Lee now has seven home runs in his last 10 games, and has essentially guaranteed himself the second best season of his career. His 33 home runs rank second behind the 46 he smashed in '05, and his 98 RBI are tied for second, also behind '05 when he knocked in 107. His .303 average, by the way, ranks third behind '05 and the .317 average he had in '07.

Kudos to Ryan Dempster, who reached double digits in wins for the fifth time in his career, and has now allowed zero earned runs in three of his last five starts. Dempster is the third Cubs starter to get his 10th win, and both Harden (9 wins) and Zambrano (8) are within striking distance.

***ALERT*** The following statistic took me FOREVER to find, so please read it. Thank you for your cooperation.

The Cubs have not had five pitchers with double-digit wins since 1972. Their rotation when they accomplished the feat?

Fergie Jenkins
Burt Hooton
Milt Pappas
Bill Hands
Rick Reuschel

Think about that. The Cubs very well could accomplish a rather impressive pitching feat, one that requires both talent and depth. Going into the season, no one would have compared this year's rotation to the one listed above (and in fairness, that rotation combined for 69 wins, whereas this year's has 50 right now), but it might become the first group with five double-digit winners in nearly 40 years. And yet the team is just six games over .500 and has had quite a disappointing season.

See you in 2010

Alfonso Soriano will have knee surgery today and is out for the season. First Urlacher, and now this?

Okay, so maybe this news won't make quite as many waves in the Chicago sports world as did Urlacher's dislocated wrist. In fact, one could argue that this is good news:

1) Piniella has coddled Soriano for the last three years, and no doubt he'd be playing if he were medically cleared to do so. But the surgery means Piniella can't possibly put him in the lineup any more. That will give guys like Fuld, Scales and Fox the opportunity to get some audition time down the stretch.
2) Maybe, just maybe Soriano's struggles at the plate and pathetic defensive performance this year were related to his knee problems. The fact that he needs surgery reinforces this possibility.
3) This goes back to the silver lining to the season that I mentioned earlier--several players, including Soriano and Zambrano, will have played fewer than normal innings this year, perhaps resulting in a healthy and reinvigorated 2010.

1 comment:

  1. If it makes you feel better, I did read it. But I would've even without your alert. And now ... wait til next year.